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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2020
Ministry of Health
Emergency Management BC
COVID-19 Joint Information Centre
B.C. COVID-19 response update
This release originally appeared as a Factsheet on March 17, 2020, and the info is unchanged

VICTORIA – The COVID-19 situation in British Columbia is continually evolving and the information below is current as of 3 p.m on March 17, 2020. These updates will be issued daily for the remainder of the week.


  • Total confirmed cases in B.C.: 186
  • New cases since March 16, 2020: 83
  • Hospitalized cases: 7
  • Deaths: 7
  • Recovered: 5

Confirmed cases by region:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 116
  • Fraser Health: 47
  • Island Health: 12
  • Interior Health: 7
  • Northern Health: 4


  • Testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test.
    • If you have no symptoms, mild symptoms or you are a returning traveller self-isolating at home, you do not require a test.
    • For each of these situations, the public health advice remains the same, regardless of test results: self-isolate for 14 days to monitor for the development of symptoms or until your symptoms are completely gone.
  • Those who have severe illness, require hospitalization, are residents of long-term care facilities or are health-care workers will continue to be tested.
    • Anyone part of an active investigation or outbreak cluster will be tested so they can be appropriately monitored. 
  • If symptoms appear, call your health-care provider or 811 for guidance.

Provincial advice and measures:

Public health emergency:

  • Under a provincial health emergency, a provincial health officer, among other emergency powers, may:
    • do orally what must otherwise be done in writing;
    • serve an order in any manner;
    • act in a shorter or longer time period than is otherwise required; and
    • compel any peace officer to enforce an order


  • Provincial health officer's order for travellers:
  • Global Affairs Canada has set up an emergency loan program for people abroad attempting to return to Canada.
  • Public health officials urge anyone who has travelled to a foreign country to self-isolate for 14 days, staying away from work or school. Guidance for self-isolation is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website:
  • On March 16, 2020, the federal government announced new measures related to travel, including:
    • banning entry of foreign nationals by air travel from all countries except the U.S.
    • consolidating international inbound flights to four major hubs only, including Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
    • preventing symptomatic passengers from boarding a plane to Canada
    • strengthening in-flight medical procedures and medical screening immediately upon landing, with enhanced cleaning and disinfection at airports
    • support for impacted Canadians abroad
    • 14-day self-isolation for all arrivals except for essential work
  • Cruise ship season is delayed until July 1, 2020 (vessels with more than 500 people).

Media availability schedule:

Upcoming scheduled media availabilities with Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Henry will be held:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 3 p.m., Vancouver
Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 3 p.m., Vancouver
Friday, March 20, 2020 – 3 p.m., Vancouver

Learn More:

COVID-19 Joint Information Centre
Media line
236 478-1336

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